What skills will be required for the jobs of the future?

Kim Berrendorf
October 8, 2019
Today’s careers are not defined by reaching a certain position and keeping it until retirement. It’s much more a question of building up a portfolio of experience and skills – above all, “soft skills” – and developing these over the course of your career. It’s about continually working on your employability. As an employer we have a responsibility and play a central role in this development.

Times are changing – and so are jobs

Business models in the insurance industry will undergo fundamental change. We don’t know when, to what extent or how fast this will happen. But we do know that well-trained employees are the basis for overcoming future challenges. The times where people learned a profession, gained experience in that profession and made a career for themselves with growing experience – usually life-long in the same company – are long gone.

Rheinfelden Future Skills Forum

The first edition of the Rheinfelden Future Skills Forum at the end of September focused on these issues. With 150 participants the forum was completely booked out – and provided important insights into the future landscape of the world of work. For its premier the forum impressed with an all-star panel. Professor Andrea Schenker-Wicki, Rector of the University of Basel, represented the education sector. Also in attendance was one of the top representatives of Swiss industry and commerce, entrepreneur Valentin Vogt, who presides over the Swiss Employers Confederation. Thanks to her background as a PR expert and her position as Senior Director Education & Talent at digitalswitzerland, Danièle A. Castle acted as a kind of go-between. This illustrious company was rounded off with international corporate consultant and famous digitalisation expert Andreas Liedtke.

View to the audience at Future Skills Forum in Rheinfelden
Presentation by Dominik Marbet at "Future Skills" in Rheinfelden

Modern career paths at Baloise

As part of a breakout session, Baloise showed how it is approaching the subject of future skills and how it is attempting to build these new skills with its employees. Trainees Melanie Ridoli and Kevin Duss, as well as Patrick Gysin (asset management), recounted examples from their educational and professional careers before delving into these with participants in a discussion presided over by Dominik Marbet (Public Affairs & Sustainability).  

Soft skills are the key to success

All session participants agreed on one thing: so-called soft skills will become considerably more important in future. Joined-up and interdisciplinary thinking, communication, self-organisation and sales talent – all skills that hardly feature in today’s university education under the Bologna system. It is therefore increasingly falling to companies to compensate for these shortcomings. This is one of the reasons why Baloise is investing in the development of these personal and social skills. But the Swiss militia system can also play a part. Baloise has been encouraging its employees to become involved politically, socially, in sport or in the church as part of this for years. President of the Swiss Employers Confederation Valentin Vogt stressed in the concluding panel discussion: “Our militia system […] is an ideal way of acquiring soft skills while at the same time doing something for the community.” For Baloise that means we are on the right path and we will continue to forge ahead with our commitment to education both inside and outside of Baloise.